Turkish carrot, tomato and lentil soup

Turkish carrot, tomato and lentil soup

On a cold winter’s day there’s nothing more enjoyable than a warming, comforting bowl of hot soup. We’ve just come to the end of winter here in New Zealand, and regular helpings of hot soup have certainly helped keep away the worst of the winter chill.

One soup we’ve grown especially fond of over the winter months is Turkish carrot, tomato and lentil soup.

This delicately-spiced soup isn’t only pleasing to the palate, it’s also easy to make because all the ingredients are thrown together and cooked in one saucepan. After cooking, everything is blended up to create a thick, richly-colored soup which is then served in individual bowls topped with a dollop of natural yogurt.

What makes this soup particularly special is that it also has powerful medicinal properties. Carrots are a rich source of fiber and beta carotene (a powerful antioxidant). Tomatoes also contain beta carotene and fiber, as well as immune system boosting vitamin C and the cancer-fighting phytochemical lycopene. And lentils are a great source of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber and are also rich in phytochemicals, calcium and potassium.

Turkish carrot, tomato and lentil soup
Serves 6
A delicately spiced, richly colored Turkish soup made from a pureed blend of carrots, tomatoes and lentils. Served with a dollop of yogurt.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion — diced
2 carrots — diced
2 garlic cloves — chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red lentils
28 oz (800g) canned chopped tomatoes
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Greek yogurt, to serve
HEAT the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. ADD the onion and carrots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. ADD the garlic, cumin, coriander and ginger and cook, stirring, for a minute. ADD the tomato paste, lentils, tomatoes, stock, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. COVER the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 20 minutes. TRANSFER the mixture to a blender in batches and process until smooth. SERVE in individual bowls topped with a dollop of yogurt.